A stalwart of the MUSIC scene is set to release a new record after defiantly finding alternative ways to pursue his passions following a devastating diagnosis.

Geoff Lawrence, 61, from Rowhedge, discovered he had Parkinson’s about three years ago, which initially took a toll on his ability to be creative.

The singer and guitarist has been writing and performing songs since he was a teenager, but now finds himself unable to perform due to his condition.

When he heard the news, the Slugworth frontman and proud dad of Anorak Patch’s Effie Lawrence was understandably stunned.

Photo: Cerys Bye

He said: “I can’t really play my guitar live anymore because my hand is shaking, so having music taken out of me all of a sudden was pretty terrible.

“Rehearsing is also miserable because I’m looking at my hand and it’s not going where I want it to go – one half of my body is always catching up with the other half.

“So I have moments where I watch live video and watch myself play fluently and I miss that, but now I have to make the most of it.

“Parkinson’s is a long, slow thing, and it’s not getting better, but I’m not going to die from it – it’s only going to get worse and I’m going to die with it.”

Determined not to let his Parkinson’s disease stop him from doing what he truly loves, Geoff, also a photographer, has since explored different methods of creating music.

Unable to use his guitar as freely as he once could, he defiantly turned to bass and keyboard to prove to himself that he could still write songs.

After finding his rhythm, Geoff had concocted nine titles which he recorded at Tom Donovan Studio for two years while collaborating with a host of musicians.

The result is Similar Life, an album that represents hope and the overcoming of adversity as much as a simple and sonorous set of beautiful songs.

Gazette: Photo: Cerys ByePhoto: Cerys Bye

“I was still full of ideas and getting the chance to go into the studio and try it all out was fantastic,” added Geoff.

“I felt like Phil Spector and I always wanted to do an album like this, so it gave me an opportunity and I’m really proud of it and I want people to listen to it.

“I’ve never been busier, musically, and right now, whatever direction I’m pushed in, I’m embracing it.”

Similar Life will be released in June and Geoff will play one last gig with Slugworth on May 1 at the Ye Olde Albion All-Dayer gig.